Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
DRC war crimes suspect Lubanga formally charged by ICC

Monuc - August 29, 2006 5:38 PM

Thomas Lubanga

Thomas Lubanga, a former Ituri militia leader, has been formally charged by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with enlisting and conscripting children under the age of 15 as child soldiers.

An ICC confirmation hearing is set for September 28, and if the charges are confirmed, Mr. Lubanga will be the first ever individual to be brought to trial at the court.

Mr. Lubanga is the President of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC), and was the commander in chief of its military wing, the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo(FPLC), at the time the crimes were committed.

From 2002 to 2004, FPLC commanders enlisted and forcibly recruited children as child soldiers, systematically abducting both boys and girls into their ranks. Mr. Lubanga is accused of playing an overall organisational and coordinating role in the UPC/FPLC’s policy in this regard.

Information collected by the office of the Prosecutor at the ICC strongly suggests that his activities were supported by foreign nationals from Uganda and Rwanda, although the evidence is not sufficient to present a case.

But Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said that the case is at a very early stage.

“As prosecutors we have the responsibility to prove the case, and we believe our evidence is strong. However, until his guilt is established Mr. Lubanga is presumed innocent.

“This case represents a huge step in the struggle against these serious crimes against children, as child conscription destroys the lives and futures of thousands of children around the world. It will contribute to exposing the problem and stopping these criminal practices.”

In addition, MONUC Human Rights officer Federico Borello said that numerous NGO’s and human rights organisations have sent letters of protest to the ICC.

“They have reason to believe he is guilty of many other war crimes committed by UPC forces under his command. Therefore if the trial goes ahead, it is possible that Mr. Lubanga will be charged with further human rights abuses.”

According to a latest Secretary General report, more than 18,000 children were released from armed groups in the DRC, from January 2004 to May 2006. Many have escaped, yet these children remain vulnerable to new threats including re-recruitment, as they find it extremely difficult to re-adapt to civilian life.

Related articles

  1. 'Deadly environment' plus 'political and social' obstacles hinder Ebola fight, Security Council hears (July 24, 2019)
  2. Ebola outbreak declared an international Public Health Emergency (July 17, 2019)
  3. At least 30 dead after massacres in Ituri (March 2, 2018)
  4. ICC Confirms 14-Year Sentence Against Thomas Lubanga (December 1, 2014)
  5. ICC sentences Germain Katanga to 12 years (May 23, 2014)
  6. ICC finds Germain Katanga guilty of war crimes and crime against humanity (March 7, 2014)
  7. Bosco Ntaganda Attacked Civilians on Ethnic Grounds, ICC Prosecutor Says (February 10, 2014)
  8. Rebel Leader Bosco Ntaganda Makes First Appearence Before the ICC (March 26, 2013)
  9. Bosco Ntaganda in the International Criminal Court's custody (March 22, 2013)
  10. International Criminal Court Acquits Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui (December 18, 2012)
  11. Thousands of Women March Against M23 Rebels in Kinshasa (November 24, 2012)
  12. ICC Prosecutor Seeks 30 Years for Thomas Lubanga (June 13, 2012)
  13. ICC Prosecutor Seeks New Charges Against Ntaganda, FDLR Leader (May 14, 2012)
  14. Kabila's Position on The Arrest of Ntaganda 'Has Not Changed' (April 13, 2012)
  15. DR Congo Government Warns Bosco Ntaganda He May Face Justice (April 6, 2012)
  16. Thomas Lubanga found guilty of using child soldiers (March 14, 2012)
  17. Tshisekedi Says He Won, Can He Prove It? (December 17, 2011)
  18. Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in DR Congo (June 28, 2011)
  19. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  20. Militiamen Sent to Testify in Warlords Trials at ICC (March 28, 2011)
  21. UN Sanctions FDLR Leaders, CNDP Rebel Commander Integrated into Army (December 2, 2010)
  22. UN launches patrols to head off rebel violence during holiday season (December 1, 2010)
  23. Congo Defense Minister Rejects UN Allegations against Army (October 17, 2010)
  24. Thomas Lubanga trial to resume at ICC (October 8, 2010)
  25. Rebel leader presumed responsible for mass rape arrested (October 5, 2010)
  26. UN DR Congo Report Exposes Grave Crimes (October 1, 2010)
  27. UN says peacekeepers 'failed' DR Congo rape victims (September 7, 2010)
  28. UN Defends Inaction on Mass Rapes in Eastern Congo, Government Missing in Action (August 26, 2010)
  29. Two Suspects Arrested in Attack on MONUSCO Base (August 20, 2010)
  30. Ban Ki-moon deplores deadly attack against blue helmets in North Kivu (August 18, 2010)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.